Beauty and the Muse

“Modern Mod” Shoot X Tra Le

Posted on: April 30, 2015


(Photos: Davide Anderson)

This year I wasn’t going to do any photo shoots, wardrobe styling, or fashion curating. I planned on dedicating all of my time toward my literary career, and attempt to find an agent to get my YA novel published. In January, I was asked to assist on a photo shoot. I accepted. My friend needed help. So I recruited local Vietnamese model, Tra Le. I loved her exotic look and let me tell you, she is amazing!


It was hard to come up with a concept in less than a week, but I Googled and Googled some more, until I stumbled upon a few 60’s Mod photos with Twiggy and “It” girl Goldie Hawn. When you think of this era, you think of white women, liberation, and carefree-ness. I wanted to bring the style forward but mix it up a little by using a cultural aspect into the concept.


I assembled a team first. I got Madinah Muhammad for makeup and Davide Anderson for photography. My friend, Raushaunah, went shopping with me to find this dope floral dress, which fit perfectly.

Ensemble Breakdown:

Flower Headband: Claire’s

Heart Shaped Frames: Claire’s

Dress: Regeneration

Stockings: Hot Topic

Shoes: Model’s own


Tra Le not only had this ensemble to model, but three others before this one. She was a pleasure to work with. She was patient and versatile.

img_7978Why has it taken me so long to release these photos? Well, I was trying to send them to magazines and local newspapers to see if they’d like to feature my styles and our story, but no one bit. This industry is hard to break, but I am going to keep funding my own projects until someone notices that Detroit has talent! Quality talent. Please share and support diversity in the fashion and style industry 🙂

Follow Us On Instagram!

Davide Anderson: @Davidefoto

Madinah Muhammad: @Makeup_by_Madinah

Leah Vernon: @Lvernon2000


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Over pizza, a friend and I talked openly about hijab and sexism we’d experienced around it. 
Many people assumed that because I wear hijab it means I’m married. Hence, the idea of a woman wears hijab for a man and not herself or for God. 
She shared a story about going to a club with her hijab and being told that she shouldn’t be there by random Muslim men because she was hijabi. She bluntly replied, “Neither you or I should be in the club as Muslims.” Her story triggered me because I too had been through the same scenario. In addition to that I remember when my ex used to constantly tell me that I didn’t love God enough or I wasn’t Muslim because I doubted wearing hijab. But the chick he ended up going out with, during our marriage, was a non-hijabi 🤔 
My friend said something that resonated with me. “If it’s so easy to wear hijab, then why don’t men do it? They won’t. Because it makes them visible.” Being visibly Muslim, for some of us, isn’t easy. To wear or continue to wear hijab isn’t always easy. So, why are we so harsh on non-hijabis? 
When I went to California this summer, I decided that I was going to wear a bathing suit and ditch my hijab. For so long, I always wondered what it’d be like. Although, I felt guilty for showing my body as a Muslim I also felt empowered because I had the choice. And that I was very much so still Muslim whether I was covered or not. 
As a Muslim woman, I applaud you for wearing hijab, but I also understand if you aren’t there yet. Not all Muslims come in one size fits all. 
What are some common misconceptions about Muslim women that you’ve heard? What’s your take on hijabi vs non-hijabi? And anyone can chime in on this discussion ☕️
Photo: @funlens 
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